AHISA MEDIA RELEASE
4 July 2023
The Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA) has welcomed the report of a federal parliamentary inquiry into online gambling and its impacts on those experiencing gambling harm.
AHISA’s CEO, Dr Chris Duncan, said all members of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social and Legal Affairs, which conducted the inquiry, deserve to be congratulated for their careful consideration of the evidence and willingness to act on it.
“The Standing Committee has made strong regulatory recommendations allied to public health measures to combat gambling harms experienced by Australians,” said Dr Duncan. “The recommendations to develop a comprehensive national strategy on online gambling harm reduction and establish a national online gambling regulator will also help to bring a much-needed national focus to what is a national issue.”
Dr Duncan said the risk of harm – and actual harms – to young Australians from their exposure to online gambling and gambling advertising have intensified over the last five years.
“The proliferation of gambling apps, the promotion of gambling on social media, the saturation of gambling advertising during sports broadcasts and the introduction of gambling-like elements to digital games have all contributed to the normalisation of gambling as a leisure activity among young people and fostered gambling problems for too many,” said Dr Duncan.
“The Standing Committee’s recommendation to commence a progressive ban on all forms of advertising for online gambling, with tighter restrictions on advertising during news and sports broadcasts and prohibition of all advertising of online gambling on social media and online platforms is welcome,” said Dr Duncan.
Dr Duncan said the Standing Committee’s recommendations set out a road map for the Australian Government to begin to contain and counter the exposure of children and young people to gambling.
“The Standing Committee has recognised that action is required urgently,” said Dr Duncan. “Now it is up to the Australian Government to heed that message.”
The report of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social and Legal Affairs, You win some, you lose more is posted at https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/House/Social_Policy_and_Legal_Affairs/Onlinegamblingimpacts/Report
AHISA’s submission to the inquiry is posted at https://www.ahisa.edu.au/AHISA/Advocacy/Submission_Resources/Submissions_2022/Inquiry_into_Online_Gambling_.aspx.
AHISA is a professional association of 460 Heads of independent schools. Its members lead schools that collectively account for over 11 per cent of total Australian school enrolments, 70 per cent of independent sector enrolments and 20 per cent of total Australian Year 12 enrolments.
Dr Chris Duncan, AHISA CEO, mobile 0408 890 885